05.23-08.29 |2014 Jazz in the Garden Summer Series

Sculpture Garden

May is here and the official first day of summer is right around the corner. That means lots of great opportunities to explore the city.

One local attraction to take advantage of is the 2014 Jazz in the Garden summer series, which hosts free jazz performances in the National Gallery of Art’s Sculpture garden.

Each an every Friday beginning on May 23rd enjoy the sound of an array of Jazz artist while basking in the summer sun.

Visitors are welcome to bring blankets and lounge out or take part in cocktails and food from the outdoor café.

This summer series is a popular attraction for the after work crews and families so be sure to arrive early to clam your spot.

Every Friday, May 23 to August 29, 2014 5:00-8:30PM
Sculpture Garden | 7th and Constitution NW, Washington, DC
The nearest Metro stations are Archives/Navy Memorial, Smithsonian and Judiciary Square.

Summer Line Up
May 23 Elikeh Roots (Afropop)
May 30 Bruce Ewan (Blues)
June 6 Juanita Williams (Blues)
June 13 Deanna Bogart Band “Blusion,” (Blues Fusion)
June 20 Speakers of the House (Baltimore Boogaloo)
June 27 DC Jazz Festival (Various Genres)
July 11 Rick Whitehead Trio w/ Chris Vadala (Sax) Jazz Trio
July 18 Tom Williams (Electroacoustic Music and Composition)
July 15 Incendio (Latin Guitar World Fusion Jazz)
August 1 Miles Stiebel (Contemporary Jazz Violinist)
August 8 Origem (Brazilian Jazz)
August 15 Swingtopia (Big-Band Swing)
August 22 Seth Kibel (Woodwind Jazz)
August 29 Dixie Power Trio (Zydeco, Cajun, and Louisiana Funk)

04.17-04.27 | DC Film Fest 2014

The DC International Film Festival is an annual celebration of international films from across the globe. The festival explores the work of prominent filmmakers of newly released, award winning and experimental films; many of which highlight various things such as socio-political topics and varing global lifestyles. The Filmfest kicked off its 28th season last Thursday and will run now until Sunday, April 27th. This year marks the last and final chance for patrons to experience a myriad of great international films. Check out a few of the featured films below:

Wednesday—April, 23rd {6:30PM} Landmark Bethesda Row Cinema

7235 Woodmont Ave. Bethesda, MD
Take Metro Red line to Bethesda Metro station.

Friday—April, 25th {6:30PM} Landmark E Street Cinema

 Saturday—April, 26th {6:30PM} Landmark E Street Cinema

555 11th St. NW
Metro: Red, Orange, or Blue Line to Metro Center. Theatre entrance on E Street between 10th and 11th Streets

This year’s festival is full of movie premieres and special events like ‘discussions with the directors’ and some other free events. Festival tickets are $12.00 and sell out fast so be sure to make your purchase online via MissionTix.com , by phone or at any of the designated theatre box offices. Movie screenings will be held at various locations throughout the city, for further information and full film listings visit filmfestdc.org 

DC | 04.05.14 @BlackGirlsRock presents @rocklikeagirl

Rock Like A Girl

ROCK! LIKE A GIRL™ is a platform created to showcase the creativity of many talented women in the music industry. It also shines a light on the impressions that these women are making in the industry as well as the media, arts and pop culture. Created by the legendary Beverly Bond, Founder of the non-profit organization, BLACK GIRLS ROCK!, Inc., this new project aims to further elevate women and highlight their contributions to the music industry.

On April 5th, 2014 ROCK! LIKE A GIRL hits the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. bringing along some musical giants such as MC Lyte, Lauryn Hill, Jean Grae, Miri Ben-Ari, Anita Tijoux and many more. The event begins at 4:30PM and tickets will be distributed on a first come first served basis so be sure to arrive early. As a note, Up to two (2) free tickets per person will be available for pick-up in the Hall of Nations at the Kennedy Center.









Source: facebook.com/BLACKGIRLSROCK |Businesswire

Salute to Marvin Gaye!

Marvin Gaye would’ve celebrated his 75th Birthday today. Known notably as one of the pioneers of Motown, Gaye helped shape not only American culture but the sound and presence of Rhythm and Blues. He was born Marvin Pentz Gay, Jr. on April 2, 1939 in Washington D.C.

A groove to make love to. It’s music pure and simple and hard.. and soulful If you insist, full of promise and determination, unity and humanity. My loved ones today is the birthplace of forever. —Marvin Gaye

As a child Marvin was always surrounded by music, especially with his father being a preacher. It was at his father’s church that Marvin discovered music. At the age of three he sang in the choir and would later go on to develop his musical skill playing both drums and piano. Marvin Gaye is considered one of the greatest artists of all time because of his musicality and great ability to deliver on classic American songs such as his duet with Tammie Terrell, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”, “What’s going on” and “Sexual Healing”.

Women’s History Month Spotlight: Yulia Brodskaya

                                                                    Simple Complexity.

Paper always held a special fascination for me. I’ve tried many different methods and techniques of working with it, until I found the way that has turned out to be ‘the one’ for me: now I draw with paper instead of on it.

There isn’t anything complex about paper and glue yet illustrator, Yulia Brodskaya, has used her creative genius to construct intricate and vibrant 3-dimensional pieces using paper and glue, these same elements have quickly garnered her international recognition. Having over 100 pieces in her collection she has worked for big names like: Oprah, Starbucks, Godiva, Bentley, Niemen Marcus, Hennessy, Target and several others (To name familiar US companies). Born in 1983, making her just over 30, she began working as a graphic designer and illustrator in 2006 and quickly left graphic design for her real passion. She accrued over 100 clients within 5 years. If there were any woman illustrators worth highlighting it would be Yulia. Her attention to detail, the meticulous nature of the pieces, her vibrancy of color and emotion all come across clearly in her work. Each piece quite visually pleasing, her work became a muse of inspiration:

I see the culmination of emotion from a lifetime in your face like a tree that has stood the test of time. With lines that circle the trunk round and round so too do the lines on your face tell a story…they tell a truth: Our perception of reality happens in dots and lines and with care and attention we can craft a beautiful reality that celebrates our experience in all of its colors. So be like Yulia, bravely stretching the bounds and lines of art, the bounds and lines of life.


Dannielle Cayard is a poet, vocalist and free spirit who uses her creativity to guide her audience deep into the corridors of her beautiful mind.

She is also a Mousai House member and Written Expressions contributor.




Women’s History Month Spotlight: Film Director Sanaa Hamri

Sanaa Hamri, the daughter of a Moroccan painter and author(Mohammed Hamri), had a goal to one day become a successful actress.  She worked throughout her secondary school years to make her goal a reality, and upon applying for college, received a scholarship to study theatre at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY.  After she completed her last year or so studying acting in Paris, she moved to Manhattan and began to pursue her dream in one of NY’s biggest cultural and economic centres.  After struggling with the harsh realities of auditions and unemployment, the actress decided to try her luck with directing instead.

She taught herself editing using an Avid machine and a manual, and discovered she had a talent for putting stories together using imagery.  Her first major breakthrough came when one of her associates – Malik Hassaan Sayeed – impressed by her talents, showed one of her early works  to Mariah Carey, who eventually hired Hamri to direct one of her videos.  She has since gone on to direct many more music videos, for not only Mariah Carey, but Jadakiss, Kelly Rowland, Prince, Jay-Z, Eric Benet, Nicki Minaj, and more; in time becoming one of the most highly recognized female music video directors in the industry.

After her career with music videos had gained her enough notoriety as a director, Sanaa branched into directing feature-length films such as “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2” in 2008 and Queen Latifah & Common’s “Just Wright” in 2010.  In an interview with a Sarah Lawrence College publication Hamri says, in the future she wants to continue in her career making more films…  specifically about ‘daily life in the world of her birthplace Morocco, and about human beings who are in conflict and struggling to understand themselves’.  With a catalogue containing such emotionally compelling and reflective works, such as the visuals to Kelly Rowland’s “Stole”, Jay-Z’s “Song Cry”, Nicki Minaj’s “Fly”, and Lupe Fiasco’s “Words I Never Said”, the artist will continue to be a thriving inspiration and example to up-and-coming video directors to “think before you act”.  Ladies and Gentlemen, I Present to You… Sanaa Hamri.



Malik Carter is a freelance photojournalist and budding MC who performs under the stage name, Primary Element.

He is also a Mousai House member and Written Expressions contributor.




Dorothy Dandridge : A Star on the Rise

Dorothy Dandridge was a woman of magnificent beauty and extraordinary talent, who dreamed of one day reaching the upper echelon of Hollywood as an dramatic actress. In 1954, that dream came true when she was cast as the lead in Otto Preminger’s Carmen Jones, the first all-black musical filmed in Technicolor. Not only was the movie a success, but Dorothy received acclaim for her portrayal of Carmen Jones, becoming Hollywood’s first African American dramatic female movie star. She was also the first African American woman to grace the cover of Life magazine.
On February 12, 1954 Dorothy received an Oscar nomination for Best Actress, making her the first African American actress to receive such an honor. On March 30, 1955 Dorothy attended the 27th Annual Academy Awards with her sister Vivian. The night was a historic one for many reasons. Dorothy was not only the first African American woman nominated for Best Actress, but also the first African American actress to present an award.

Though she did not win the Oscar, Dorothy captivated the hearts of the country, and symbolized the hopes and dreams of African Americans everywhere. With the tremendous success of Carmen Jones, one would assume Dorothy Dandridge would remain one the top actresses in Hollywood. Unfortunately, Hollywood was too focused on her skin color instead of her talent. Three years pasted before Dorothy starred in another film. In 1957, she appeared apart of an ensemble cast in the movie Island in the Sun. She starred in other movies including The Decks Ran Red (1958), Tamango (1958), Porgy and Bess (1959) and Malaga (1960), but none received the acclaim and garnered the popularity of Carmen Jones.
As Diahann Carroll said, “Dorothy Dandridge should be the most successful movie star in the world, but she was a black woman at the wrong time.” She captivated the world with her beauty, and amazed audiences everywhere with her undeniable talent . Most importantly she inspired and blazed the trail for generations of actors and entertainers. Though her influence doesn’t end there. It’s broad enough to reach just about any and everyone including me. Dorothy dared to dream big, and accomplished what seemed virtually impossible during the 1950s. Her dreams our now our realities, and I am forever grateful.



M. Williams is a guest contributor and curator behind the @DandridgeLove Blog.

Williams has always had a great love and admiration for Dorothy. When she realized that so many in this generation didn’t know who she was, or the rich legacy she left behind. She started an Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr in hopes of increasing awareness about her life and legacy. Williams’s goal has always been to uplift the legacy of Dorothy Dandridge, by acknowledging her triumphs as well as her trials. Dorothy has opened the door for so many women especially of color. Williams believes it is our duty to celebrate her because not only did Dandridge break down countless barriers but she has inspired others to do the same. M. Williams hopes in time Dorothy’s legacy will not only be more widely known, but truly appreciated.